Releasing a game about helping a group of would have been hugely progressive at the time, something Nintendo was decidedly not.
Its smart and deeply-felt explorations of gender and intolerance are just two factors that make Mother 3 an adult game, a work about emotional maturity and with a broader, informed worldview.
It's entirely up to the player to see the loved ones beyond the checkboxes, giving new weight to decisions like whether you should skip heat today so you can afford food tomorrow - and how you could have afforded them both if you'd just detained more undeserving people.
Don't let the fungus-infected citizens and murderous looters fool you; this isn't a game about killing bad guys or taking down monsters.
Well, it , but it's also a game about relationships and how they impact us.
Other subjects tackled include parental abandonment, slavery, coping with the death of a spouse, and environmental collapse.
Mother 3 is not a hard game, but it is certainly challenging.
Don't be fooled by the high school-aged cast or the cartoonish stuffed teddy bear presiding over your stay at Hope's Peak Academy; Danganronpa is a dark, brutal affair that will have your stomach churning as you blast through its reams of dialog on your way to its shocking ending.
Much like how The Walking Dead uses its post-zombie apocalypse setting to hone in on human drama, Naughty Dog's The Last of Us tells a decidedly heartbreaking tale of a man and the young girl he's charged with escorting.
When emotional responses mean more than moment-to-moment gameplay, you're definitely dealing with something intended for the more developed mind of an adult.
There’s plenty in The Witcher 3 that could be considered 'adult' - loads of violence, politics, the entire Bloody Baron questline - but what makes it most pleasingly mature is its attitude towards sex. His ladyfriends, Triss and Yennifer, also like sex.
The RPG came out during a major spike in anti-game hysteria in the mainstream press, spurred in part by the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas “Hot Coffee” scandal the previous year.